bps undergraduate accreditation process n.
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  1. BPS UNDERGRADUATE ACCREDITATION PROCESS Dr Ruth Green Chair- Graduate Qualifications Accreditation Committee

  2. Why accredit UG courses? • Defines core curriculum to ensure preparedness for professional training • Ensures delivery of curriculum by qualified psychologists, to adequate standards, and with adequate resources • Protects against ‘erosion’ of resources – this has been crucial since replacement of HEFCE Band B/D by Band C funding

  3. Principles of Accreditation • Need to demonstrate compliance with criteria related to both curriculum and resources • Reference for curriculum is currently BPS Qualifying Examination • Review is by representative group of peers (GQAC) • Process works through mixture of written submissions and visits

  4. Criteria for Curriculum • 50% overall and at Honours Level (Years 2 & 3, or Years 3 & 4 in Scotland) must be Psychology. Years 2 & 3 must not fall below 33% • 7 core areas at Honours Level • Cognitive Psychology; Psychobiology; Social Psychology; Individual Differences; Developmental Psychology; Research Design and Quantitative Methods; Conceptual and Historical Issues • All but CHIP must be assessed at Honours level; CHIP can be demonstrated across the curriculum • Must be a Practical Component (usually final year project) which must be passed

  5. Criteria for Physical Resources • Dedicated laboratory facilities for practical work and IT • Library access + minimum 2000 books and 30 journals • Access to electronic databases • Staff based on one site

  6. Criteria for Staffing Academic Staff • Minimum 5 fte • Maximum SSR 1:20 • Staff suitably qualified in psychology • 80% programme delivered by ‘permanent’ staff • 2 external examiners Other Staff • Minimum 2 fte admin/clerical and 1fte technical – I fte of each dedicated to Psychology

  7. Starting up a New Course • Approach BPS for advice • Submit information on standard forms to GQAC • Reviewers submit reports to GQAC • Accreditation Visit • Meet any conditions – accredited for up to 5 years

  8. Process for Existing Courses • Re-accreditation every 5 years by paper – visit every 10 years • Resource Review mid-cycle • Additional submissions for changes and new awards N.B GQAC will not consider new awards if there are outstanding resource issues on existing awards

  9. Quality Assurance • GQAC membership is representative wrt academic expertise, type of institution, location • Reviewers are independent of the programmes they review and declare conflicts of interest • New reviewers are paired with experienced reviewers, and on visits first act as observers rather than full panel members • Reviewers on visits work to agreed guidelines and protocols to ensure a consistent approach, and a professional and collegiate atmosphere

  10. Recent Amendments to Practice • Explicit reference now made to the need to cover qualitative methods • Minimum pass for eligibility for GBR is a lower second, or 50% for conversion courses • Allow full text e-journals as an alternative to hard copy • From 2006/7 students must be issued with transcript showing modules studied

  11. Calculating SSR – Key Issues • Include fte’s for all students studying psychology modules, whatever their award • Include Pg taught and research fte’s • Include all staff fte’s delivering to psychology modules/awards, normally staff contracted permanently to Psychology plus proportions of staff from ‘outside’ • Calculate fte’s for casual pt staff/TA’s on the basis of 1FTE = 550 hours, or contract

  12. Calculating SSR – Key Issues • Avoid double counting e.g. sabbatical or maternity leave when cover bought in • Be consistent in using figures for staffing and student numbers from the same academic year – present snapshot picture, don’t project forward (unless new award) • Remember staff vacancies do not count in calculation and will need to be confirmed on appointment

  13. Changes in Revised P & P (September, 2008) • Improved clarity, organisation and transparency • P & P aligned closely with structure of Questionnaires • All guidelines for completing Questionnaire removed from Q itself and put in P & P • GBR Curriculum, not QE • Old BPS Honours definition removed, now aligned to FHEQ – coverage for GBR Curriculum must be at Levels I and H

  14. Changes in Revised P & P (September, 2008) • Explicit referencing back to QAA Psychology Benchmark Statement for curriculum and subject-based skills • More emphasis on accepting staffing based on contract rather than absolute contribution • Option to omit autonomous groups of staff and students from SSR calculations • Entry to Conversion awards with first degree – honours degree no longer specified

  15. Changes in Revised P & P (September, 2008) • Large student numbers (c.400fte) trigger review of need to provide more than minimum on threshold criteria e.g. external examiners, physical resources • Section of additional questions for E-learning awards or significant use of E-learning • Psychobiology ►Biological Psychology • Clarification of ‘20% rule’ – maximum 20% of staffing fte can be pt (not 20% programme delivered by…)

  16. Changes to Criteria • Minimum requirement on journal holdings increases from 30 to 50 (reflects increase in e-journal holdings) • Required to demonstrate ethics approval for project work etc (reflects revised QAA Benchmark Statement) • Practical component i.e. project or its equivalent, must be at H level

  17. Clarification wrt Documentation • 3 copies of everything • GQAC Questionnaires – don’t need to repeat all parts if more than one award • Brief overview and evaluation of programme developments and changes • External Examiners reports for last 3 years • All module outlines • Most recent exam papers and other assessment tasks for Core GBR modules • Staff CV’s (new for reviews, all for new submissions) • Programme Spec. or Student Handbook